What is the Difference Between Media and Public Relations?

Article Details
  • Written By: Ken Black
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 30 September 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article
Free Widgets for your Site/Blog
Fr. Thomas Byles, who refused to leave the sinking Titanic and stayed to help others, is a candidate for sainthood.  more...

October 21 ,  1879 :  Thomas Edison lit up a light bulb for the first time.  more...

Though there may not be any official definition for either one of these fields, there are some generally accepted differences between media and public relations. The jobs are so similar that many firms may hire one individual to fill both roles, depending on the size of the company. These professionals help the company by not only dealing with the news media, but also projecting a consistent image of the company to the public in a way that is consistent with the desires of the company.

The main difference between media and public relations is that the term media relations is more limited. While public relations may include dealing with the media to some degree, media relations is a specialty. Therefore, those in strictly media relations positions will spend their time fielding calls from the media, identifying and "spinning" relevant news items, as well as writing press releases in an effort to keep the media informed about what is happening at the company. Depending on the desire of the company for free publicity, this could be a very busy position.


In fact, the demands of the media can be such a specialized field that some companies focus exclusively on this type of work. These media relations companies work with clients to get their names out and generate positive publicity. If a crisis or negative event does hit the company, these companies can also help by providing the media with a place to go where they know they can find the correct information. Thus, it helps the client by providing a centralized source that is not contradictory.

A public relations professional will do more than just deal with the media. In fact, a public relations person may not deal with media at all if the company decides to split its media and public relations segments into separate entities. In such as case, a public relations person may be responsible for outreach and serve as a liaison at special events, help plan those events, and even write a company newsletter so that employees can stay informed about what is happening.

No matter how the line is drawn between media and public relations, these jobs require a great deal of skill in mass communication. Professionals in these positions often must anticipate what information will be in demand, and know how to access it quickly. Further, they must do so in a way that does not make the company look bad. Most individuals in these fields hold at least a Bachelor's degree in communications or journalism. Some likely have experience working in the journalism field, either in print or broadcast media.


You might also Like


Discuss this Article

Post 3

Comfyshoes-Sometimes a celebrity may want certain information to be leaked out to the public and will do this through a publicist who directs the celebrity’s image.

For example, Angelina Jolie might want the public to know about all of her international adoptions and charity work around the world in order to gain favor with the American Public.

As a matter of fact, these stories began developing as Jolie suffered a bit of bad publicity because of her responsibility in breaking up the marriage of Jennifer Anniston and Brad Pitt.

Usually in PR media, a publicist makes statements on behalf of the celebrities.

Post 2

Subway11-Public relations and the media are related because the media tends to display what they feel is newsworthy and public relations seek to make information about a company, person, or brand newsworthy in a positive way.

Public relations also involve crisis management. This is where public relations and media relations really become involved.

For example, in the Tiger Woods scandal, the crisis that Tiger Woods faced became a daily news item as the media felt it was a newsworthy story. It was not until a public relations firm set in that the negative publicity eased up a bit.

The publicist encouraged Tiger Woods to have a press conference and apologize for his indiscretions. It was not until

this moment that Tiger Woods’ public persona began to heal.

Public relations firms offer an important service to their clients because they seek to change the public’s perception of their client in a positive way which leads to additional revenue for their client.

Post 1

Public and media relations involve the public perception of a brand, a company, or a celebrity.

Public relations and the media are related in that they both provide information to the general public.

PR media relates to the information that a company, a brand, or a celebrity might want to release in order to develop its public image or repair some damage that was done due to negative publicity.

Many jobs in public relations are filled with former journalists. As a matter of fact about 70% of people working in new media and public relations were former journalists.

Post your comments

Post Anonymously


forgot password?